Final supermoon of 2022 illuminates night sky over Singapore
The Perseid meteor shower will also hit its peak this weekend.
SINGAPORE: The final supermoon of the year illuminated the night sky over Singapore on Thursday (Aug 11).
The supermoon, also known as the Sturgeon Moon, will occur between the night of Thursday and Friday, said the Science Centre Observatory in a Facebook post.
“Like other supermoons, it will appear brighter than the usual full moon and a tad bit larger to our eyes,” it added.
The moon rose at about 6.45pm on Thursday evening from the east and south-east.
“It should rise to a height easy for most to see at around 9pm and will set towards the west-south-west direction. It is also interesting to note that the moon will be relatively close to Saturn,” said the observatory.
The supermoon will also be visible on Friday evening. The observatory added that it will look "almost as bright" and moon rise will occur around 7.45pm.
Facebook group Stargazing Singapore said in a post that the supermoon will reach full illumination on Friday night.
It will be visible by 8pm on Friday if skies are clear and can be seen in the south-east direction.
Stargazing Singapore said a good place for viewing would be a seaside or beachfront location where the low horizon is visible.
East Coast Park, Changi Beach, Marina Barrage or the high floor of a tall building or an unobstructed open-air multi-storey car park are all suitable locations, the post added.
CNA reader A Kannan captured the celestial sighting from Woodlands Avenue 5 on Thursday when the moon rose from the south-east of the country.
“The moon was approximately 360,343km away from Earth when I took these pictures. The moon was unusually bright and bigger with the craters and mare on the moon visible when a close-up view was taken,” he said.
A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth at the same time the moon is full, according to NASA. When this happens, the moon appears slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon.
Including the Sturgeon Moon on Thursday, there have been four supermoons in 2022 - one each from May to August.
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the Sturgeon Moon gets its name from the sturgeon fish that was commonly caught in the Great Lakes by Native American tribes during this time of the year.
The next supermoons will occur on Aug 1 and Aug 31 next year, according to the In-The-Sky website, an online guide on the night sky.
Stargazers will also be in for a treat this weekend, with the Perseid meteor shower hitting its peak.
The best time to try catching a glimpse of the meteors will be between 4am and 6am from Friday to Sunday, in the direction of the north-eastern sky, said Stargazing Singapore.
"Despite the bright full supermoon, Perseids meteors will still be clearly visible! The bright and colourful meteors and fireballs can occur at any time on any night and appear in any part of the sky."
The Facebook group added that no equipment is needed to observe the event.
"In Singapore, Perseids will not appear as a shower, you will catch them coming in one by one in our skies. You may even catch a fireball too! You will need lots of patience. Sometimes we will spot only one meteor for the whole night or may not even spot any at all," it advised.
The Perseid meteor shower is a yearly occurrence that takes place between the middle of July to the middle of August, according to the Farmers' Almanac.
It is known for being especially bright with numerous meteors.
Farmers' Almanac advised those looking to observe the meteor shower to stay away from light pollution such as city lights. They should also avoid using binoculars or a telescope.
"It is better to look at the whole sky than a tiny part of it, and your eyes will automatically move toward any motion up above. Avoid looking at your cell phone or other lights during the meteor shower, as this will damage your night vision," it said, adding that about 20 minutes will be needed for our eyes to adapt to the darker skies.